Vertebral augmentation: Update on safety, efficacy, cost effectiveness and increased survival?

Ronil V. Chandra, Franzcr Mmed, Albert J Yoo, Joshua Adam Hirsch

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleOtherpeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


Although over 300 articles have been published annually on vertebral augmentation in the last 5 years, there remains much debate about a fundamental question - is vertebral augmentation a safe and effective treatment to achieve analgesia, reduce disability, and improve quality of life in patients with a vertebral fracture? In this modern era of evidence-based clinical practice and public health care policy and funding, an evidentiary basis is needed to continue to perform vertebral augmentation. The aim of this narrative review is to summarize the latest and highest quality evidence for efficacy, safety, cost effectiveness, and potential survival benefit after vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty. The design, major inclusion criteria, primary outcome measures, relevant primary baseline characteristics, primary outcomes, relevant secondary outcomes, and limitations of prospective multicenter randomized sham-controlled and conservative management-controlled trials are summarized. Recently published meta-analyses or systematic reviews of efficacy that include these recent prospective studies of vertebral augmentation are examined. The highest quality procedural safety data relating to medical complications, cement leaks, and subsequent vertebral fracture are reviewed. Publications from national databases analyzing potential reduction in length of hospital stay and reduction in mortality after vertebral augmentation are presented. Finally, emerging literature assessing the potential cost-effectiveness of vertebral augmentation is considered. This narrative review will provide interventional pain physicians a summary of the latest and highest quality data published on vertebral augmentation. This will allow integration of the best available evidence with clinical expertise and patient wishes to make the most appropriate evidence-based clinical decisions for patients with symptomatic vertebral fracture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)309-320
Number of pages12
JournalPain Physician
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Cancer
  • Kyphoplasty
  • Osteoporosis
  • Spinal fracture
  • Vertebroplasty

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